Vacuum Testing to Prevent Product Failure – Part 1

Posted: Aug 01, 2018

Product failure can be catastrophic, especially in circumstances when lives are at stake. Transportation at high altitudes can alter the pressure of sealed products, and this pressure changes significantly with every flight. These pressure changes can damage gaskets, potentially exposing parts to humidity and contaminants that can alter performance. In addition, many electronics depend on the normal insulating properties of standard air pressure to avoid short circuits in components.  High altitude conditions remove that air and corresponding electrical insulation thus creating short circuits and critical component failures that otherwise would not be experienced at normal site pressures found near the Earth’s surface.  Product failure can even lead to rapid decompression and loss of altitude. Vacuum testing with vacuum chambers can help prevent product failures by subjecting products to various types of pressure conditions in a safe and controlled setting.

Vacuum chambers are specialized vessels capable of maintaining a high vacuum environment. Depending on the equipment’s configuration and optional features or components, vacuum chambers are useful for a number of product testing and lab applications that require the simulation of certain atmospheric or environmental conditions. Manufacturers use these chambers to subject their products to various environmental conditions and analyze the effects these atmospheric stresses have on the products.

Many industries use vacuum testing to prevent product failure, including the automotive and airline industries. The aerospace industry requires especially rigorous testing to ensure their products can endure the extreme temperatures and pressure changes associated with space travel. Manufacturers in the aerospace industry also rely on thermal vacuum testing to develop high quality space flight components, mission-critical equipment, and sub-assemblies.

Vacuum testing simulates real world conditions by removing air and pressure, and by cycling very high and very low temperatures. Testing in such an environment can help manufacturers identify design issues before they integrate components into larger systems, saving time and money. Preventing product failure by identifying functional flaws can also save lives.

Tenney Vacuum Test Chambers perform product testing, MIL-SPEC testing, and are easily incorporated into a variety of commercial production processes. Tenney Vacuum Test Chambers provide a complete vacuum system and control system that is pretested and ready to operate. For ultra-high vacuum space applications, Tenney can provide nearly limitless interior chamber sizes, thermal control on product platens and shrouds at temperature ranges of -180°C to 150°C, and vacuum levels to 1.0x10-7Torr.

For more information about Tenney Environmental Vacuum Test Chambers, please visit our website. For more information like the above, be sure to follow Thermal Product Solutions on Facebook and LinkedIn. Check back next month for the second part of this two-part blog series, Vacuum Testing to Prevent Product Failure – Part 2.